Bevin blames video games and culture for school shooting

02/15/2018 01:46 PM

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is responding to the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead and at least 14 hurt.

Bevin appeared on a talk radio broadcast on Thursday, saying he is heartbroken over the shooting, mere weeks since the Marshall County High School shooting took the lives of two people, injuring 17 others.

Bevin again said guns are not the cause of the school shootings — blaming culture and violent video games, and other media. The first-term governor compared violent video games to pornography.

The governor made similar claims days after the Marshall County High School shooting and at the beginning of the month after a shooting in California — pointing to a culture as the culprit.

“Evil doesn’t care about laws,” he said in a Feb. 1 video. “…The reality is we have a cultural problem in America.”

“The fact is this is not a gun problem,” he continued.

Numbers dispute Bevin’s claims

As Bevin points to culture and video games numbers from across the globe are seeking to paint a clearer picture of mass shootings.

According to an article from the New York Times , which cited a 2015 global study, worldwide, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. The United States has around 4.4 percent of the global population but owns 42 percent of the world’s guns, according to the report.

The report included factors that don’t correlate to mass shootings, including video games.

“Whether a population plays more or fewer video games also appears to have no impact. Americans are no more likely to play video games than people in any other developed country,” the NYT report indicated.

The report also indicated that only 4 percent of guns deaths in the United States could be linked to mental health issues.

What’s being done in Congress and Frankfort?

Several bills in the Kentucky Legislature seem to be going in the opposite direction of continued calls for gun control. Two bills filed in the House and one in the Senate would repeal some limitations on gun owners.

Senate Bill 103 was filed after the deadly shooting in Marshall County last month. It seeks to add a person to schools called a “School Marshal”. This person would carry a firearm in an effort to prevent imminent death or serious injuries on campus.

House Bill 36 seeks to remove the requirement for gun owners to obtain a conceal carry permit in the state—as long as the laws are followed on where guns are prohibited by federal laws.

House Bill 103 seeks to allow conceal carry on all Kentucky state college campuses.

Federally, following the October 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, bipartisan legislation was filed to ban the sale of bump stocks. The bill co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida, and Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, has seen virtually no movement since being filed.

Instead, many federal lawmakers deferred regulation changes to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives rather than a legislative restriction from Congress.

Anchor and managing editor Nick Storm and Producer Michon Lindstrom contributed to this report.


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